Torstar takes a big step backwards

This news is a few days old but I haven’t seen much written about it so allow me to do so.

Torstar, the parent company of Canada’s largest circulation daily newspaper, announced that it was cutting 160 jobs including the entire internet production staff at said newspaper, the Toronto Star.

That’s right, the entire internet production staff. At the very least, this would be another example of a major newspaper missing the writing on the wall that says the web is the medium of the future. However, in the case of the Star, this is extra distressing.

The Star has really been pushing their online content lately. They are encouraging more and more of their top reporters and columnists to launch blogs and they were among the first major Canadian news outlets to offer multimedia content as more than just a novelty (their top story, for example, often has a video embedded).

I have no idea how these cuts will affect the development of the site as a news tool but the optics are all wrong. The Star is certainly not alone in facing problems as conventional newspapers lose their stature but cutting your internet staff doesn’t seem like the way to deal with it.

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